A Selection of the most important Declarations and Speeches from WW2, 1939
Monday September 18th
Communique issued by Polish Government at Kuty:
The Polish Ambassador in Moscow declined the accept the Soviet Note sent to him yesterday. The Polish Government approved the action of its Ambassador, who asked for his passports. The Polish Government protests strongly against the unilateral action of Russia in breaking her non-aggression pact with Poland and also against the invasion of Polish territory, which was undertaken when the whole Polish nation was struggling with all it’s might against the German aggressor. The Polish Government parries the reason given in the Soviet Note with the statement that the Polish Government is carrying out it’s duties normally, and the Polish army is struggling with success against the enemy.
“If the Soviet complains that it lacked contact aith the Polish Government the fault is it’s own, as the Soviet Ambassador left Poland while the whole of the remainder of the diplomatic corps maintained contact with the Polish Government without interruption.
Statement Issued By The Ministry of Information:
The British Government have considered the situation created by the attack upon Poland ordered by the Soviet Government. This attack is made upon our ally at a moment when is prostrate in face of overwhelming forces brought against her by Germany cannot, in the view of his Majesty’s Government, be justified by the arguments put forward by the Soviet Government. The full implication of these events is not yet apparent, but his Majesty’s Government takes the opportunity of stating that nothing that has occurred can make any difference to the determination of his Majesty’s Government with the full support of the Country, to fulfil their obligations to Poland, and to prosecute the war with all energy until their objectives have been achieved.
Tuesday September 19th
Hitler in a speech in Danzig:
I tried to find a solution. I submitted proposals orally to those in power in Poland at that time. They knew these proposals – they were more than moderate. I do know in what state of mind the Polish Government could have been to reject such proposals. You know the developments of those days in August. I believe it would have been possible to avoid war were it nor for the British guarantee and the incitement of these apostles of war. As you know, I have ordered our air force mostly strictly to limit themselves only to military objectives. But our opponents in east and west must not take advantage of this. In future we shall take an eye for an eye, and for every bomb we shall answer with five bombs.
We have seen that in England this co-operation between Germany and Russia has been regarded as a crime. To these Western outbursts I give this answer: Russia remains what she is, namely Bolshevik and Germany remains what she is, namely National Socialist. But neither the Russian nor the German Government wants to be drawn into war in the interest of Western Democracies. Germany’s political aims are limited. We shall come to an understanding with Russia about this, as she is the nearest neighbour whom this affects. We shall never go to war about this because German aspirations are limited. England ought really to welcome an agreement with Germany and Russia, because such an agreement sets at rest England’s fears of unlimited German expansion.
I have no war aims against England and France. I have tried to maintain peace between these countries to establish friendly relations between English and the German nations. Poland will never arise again in the form of the Versailles Treaty. Not only Germany, but Russian guarantees this.
If England now continues the war she reveals her real aims, that she wants war against the German Government, and I have the honour to stand here as representative of this regime. It is for me the greatest honour to be regarded this way.
When England says that the war will last three years, then I can only say that I am sorry for France. If is lasts three years the word capitulation will not arise on our side, not in the fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh years.
About one thing there can be no doubt – we are taking up the challenge.
Mr Benes, in a broadcast address to the Czechoslovakian people:
The Mad ‘Barbarism’ of Nazi Germany in Czechoslovakia, Poland and even in Germany itself shows that the Nazi leaders are fully aware that their regimes is nearly at an end. They are therefore taking their revenge, dealing blows right and left, and raging in a senseless manner against their own countrymen and the rest of Europe.
The peoples of the whole world are rising and will continue to rise, to defend with their lives your freedom as well as their own. Today we are sure that Czechoslovakian will rise to her old frontiers of a thousand years ago. you, Czechoslovakian people, must be among the first and most valorous in the fight.
All of us must today be ready to sacrifice even our lives for our country and for our honour. Do not forget that they tyrannical-oppressor, who is in an unfamiliar environment, cannot in the end have either the moral strength or the material means to meet your united force and your relentless determination. Your steadiness and resolution will prevent the violent forces of Nazism from attaining their objects, the enslaving and obliteration of the Czechoslovakian people.
Today the retreat from the tyranny of Nazism is ended. In France, in England and in the Allied States, millions of men and millions of tons of material are ready to strike a decisive blow against the German danger that is menacing the world.
Your place Czechoslovakian citizens, is today in the front line. The whole world is looking to you, recognizing your determined resistance and its expecting that, day after day, you will deal hard blows at your enemy.
Throughout the whole country, from the last village up to Prague, in every workshop, in every enterprise, whoever you are, you must continue to carry on this struggle. There must be no place in the whole of Czechoslovakia which will not show evidence of your holy determination to bear every sacrifice for your country…..
Wednesday September 20th
Mr Chamberlain in House of Commons:
Against the background of these events Herr Hitler chose yesterday to address another speech to the world. It is not our way in the country to speak with boasts and threats. Perhaps for that very reason the German leader have difficulty in understanding us, but in such comments as I have to make on the Chancellor’s speech. I shall not depart from out custom of speaking soberly and quietly.
The speech which Herr Hitler made yesterday at Danzig does not change the situation.
It gave an account of recent events which we cannot accept as accurate and, as the commentary broadcast by the BBC last night clearly showed, it contained certain awareness of the kind which in recent years Herr Hitler has repudiated when it suited his purpose.
Herr Hitler says much in his speech about the humane methods by which he has waged war. I can only say that methods are not made humane by calling them so, and that the accounts of German bombing of open towns and machine-gunning of refugees have shocked the whole world. What I have sought for in his speech in vain in one single word to show that Herr Hitler remembers the brave men who have already lost their lives in this quarrel of his own making, or their wives and children who have been bereft for ever of the head of the family because of their leader’s lust for power which has to be satisfied.
I have only one general comment to make. Our General purpose in this struggle is well known. It is to redeem Europe from the perpetual and recurring fear of German aggression and enable the peoples of Europe to preserve their independence and their liberties…….